tv [untitled] March 15, 2013 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT
will have -- the unmitigated permission for all the signs that are currently out there. we believe that the occasion for this may have come from the traders joe's at california street. and the reason for the chase here, this is an example of how national chains are coming in and have signs way out of control. we at san francisco beautiful are hearing a lot of complaints about chase in particular. the existing statute allows the neighborhood a real back branding that is diminished the character and consistency of the neighborhood or the changes in the better street plans that are contemplated for those better neighborhoods. this sign, i
don't know why we need to create a blanket permission on the planning department and planning commission would advocate that ability to scrutinize each of these signs. downtown san francisco, city bank has been there for a long time. this sign is very different and very loud from the feeling you have along california street and the financial district. why would we want to give up the ability to scrutinize that in a permitting process. here is another example. what used to be holiday in in chinatown, i took a picture of it at night. it's a beautiful pedestrian bridge. it has a lot of detail on it. it's been botched by that hilton sign. again, as the rules are now contemplated would grandfather that sign. in other words we need to opportunity to reel in branding
that is at odds with the character of our neighborhoods. i would like to also point out that san francisco beautiful helped pass prop g. we had voter approval but no enforcement on it until we came here and pounded the desk and got enforcement on it and then we got some quantification. only 30 percent are operating legally. what you have in the executive summary is a little breezy and non-quantitative. >> your time is up. >> thank you. without any quantitative data we are about ready to see everything as is.
good afternoon, commissioners, i'm kristin craven executive director for san francisco beautiful. i think we are in all favor in stream lining procedures and our concern is simply with the process. i don't believe we are in the business of creating code reforms that gut our planning code. this is our fear. we would like for there to be a review process for exceptions to the rule that they should be treated as exceptions in the case of delicate daisy's. that sounds like an important story that you should hear and review but that we shouldn't give entitlements to national corporations and other examples that myeloshowed. our concern is really about the process. we don't think you should give
your right to review away in favor of expediency. thank you for your time this afternoon and look forward to hearing on how you weigh in on this. >> good afternoon, alex walker. i want to say a few words today on behalf of tom dual vich who is also chair board who could not be here today. i want to draw a few things out from the letter he sent this morning to members of the commission and staff. i want to thank supervisor chu's office for having a meeting with san francisco beautiful, unfortunately, amendments were not considered and brought to
your attention. amnesty for all signs, but we are still going to work on what is and not considered a change of copy and go through some of the suggested changes that he lined out in his letter. that changes be permit ted for signs that are blocking light and on the visual environment of the community, window signs which compromise transparency, and the different types of signs like that signs that are not on landmark buildings and historic districts and the recommendation that we can continue to make sure there is compliance in that respect. and the signs that have
architectural merit and there is ability with this definitely and when it comes to illumination that there is now in the suggestion that there is when there is a change of illumination there is not a change of copy but change in the level of illumination, the kind where it's director internal and all of these things to make sure there is really appropriate conditional use, if there is community input, that there is the full chance to have a hearing and approval by commission appeal to the board of supervisors and appropriate other appeals of structure and increasing in forcing and these are treated as the exceptions rather than grandfather erg. thank you very
much for working with us on this and on behalf of the local city that we continue to have a process that's open transparent and involves everyone in the community. thank you. good afternoon. i'm in the green party and i officially represent the local grass roots. our city bedrock issue when we first started our organization was formula retail and this issue do have tails with that a little bit and that if a formula retail buys a bunch of storefront with non-conforming signs. you saw pictures of what could happen. that's a concern and also we would respectfully ask the
sponsor to flip this so we are taking change the amount of sign. and if we set up a blanket policy that allows especially a large chain to come in and repurpose signs like this, it could really be a problem. i know this isn't exactly the same issue, but if you look around at the old theatre marquis and what is there that's within existing law. but it's an example of how we are really not getting our hands around this process of making sure that we keep the city looking beautiful so i would just urge the sponsor, the legislation to reverse this
so it gives good protection for individual business owners or maybe even a trader joes to an individual process basis come in to ask for a release on a specific sign but would ask you to not support a creative blanket policy to creative slope that would get a lot of signs that might not be good for communities. >> any additional public comment on this item? >> good afternoon, commissioners. on behalf of the ownership of 888 brannan street. it's a former gift center. before that it was built as the ever ready battery
-- the revisions that staff is proposing to take this ordinance away from buildings and the unique features of those buildings. the issue with this building is not an article 10 or 11 building. it's on the resources of historic places. it historically had signage at the corner towers these are battery insignia. the issue with this building is that when zoning change to 2008, the height limit for the signs were change. since this building was built over a hundred years ago, there aren't permits that indicate the corners towers were permitted signs. what we suggested in my letter and
meeting with staff there is some historic building and sign program that is distinct from the typical business signs. we drafted after the model signs that was adopted a few years ago that makes recognition of the unique features of the historic signs. what we are proposing is that if there is signage on an historic building that is integral to the design of the building, the character defining feature of the building that sign is continued to be in existence. in the case of 888 brannan that is an office building. having a gift center on the sign makes no sense, it's confusing. but if we take the gift center sign down, there is nothing to replace it with. insignificant
the design is part of the building that being anticipate able to up great those signs and direct you to have them >> thank you. any additional public comment on this item? it's closed. >> thank you. i want to clarify issues were raised during the session. this is not an amnesty. in order to qualify for this, you have to have evidence that the sign was legally in stalled. if it was not legally installed, then this would not apply. so i wanted to clarify that first and there would be an appeal
to have these permits to the board of appeal. i just wanted to clarify that. >> thank you. commissioner moore. >> i think it's very important for us to hear comments made by mr. vad el in terms of brannan street. what i would like to add here is while i'm not sure each of the comments he made are applicable. i believe this particular legislation has it's currently requires more technical detail that is to make sure that sign is an integral part of buildings which is prior to any sign ordinance considered are indeed an exception and there are quite a few of those buildings
however they might not be changing owner use so quickly. the others are extremely important and the one thing the question that has not been answered to me is the following: copy and topography. copy is letters, topography which is specific to the sign in which the building was created. particular in prior to 1970 before computers were not able to so many type faces, there was a certain type of topography which was designed that was very clear
when you hear signs he talked about. i'm not saying we need to replicate exactly the time period in which the copy we are replacing needs to repeat. but i do think as a correlation between the type of signs, the body we are told the lettering and the type of sign. this is a technical detail. it was very large. you could see it everywhere. today we are trying to replace 4 letters of what's going to be 14 letters because we don't have only one new name which is trader joes, but it's going to be trader joes and cvs, two type faces which are
completely different. they don't go very well, one is a western style and the other is very rigid and potentially we can have a strange mix up there. i'm using this as an example because i go by this particular corner frequently and i believe and encouraging supervisors who are in discussion with you to add a little bit more technical detail and specificness no what you are trying to legislate. even though we are making everything transparent and easy we don't want to lose protection and going backward and creating a blanket policy. >> commissioner anti-nin >> yeah. i think this legislation needs a little bit of fine tuning but i believe we are talking about trying to
keep the same thought possible on these signs even though the tenant maybe a different tenant. it's been pointed out that traders joe's and cvs are replacing cal an and there are more letters but part of the an allowance that the font should remain the same especially on the historic ones even though the tenants are different. it makes no sense to have a sign for a tenant that is no longer there that confuses public. in fact the other night they were going to an event and they ended up at the gift center because there was an event there years before. it wasn't so much about the signage but they remember going to one a few years before that and it's fairly close to the same place.
as far as the appeals process, correct me if i am wrong, but it sounds like there would be an ability for discretionary review and even staff created would there not be? >> no. section 604 a specifically states the planning commission doesn't have the authority to comply with articles 6 with the planning code for signs. there would be an appeal. no one can have a dr before the planning commission but they can -- appeal. >> could staff do that if they thought something was inappropriate? >> it would generally be an a member. >> there would be a review?
>> correct. >> for those who maybe concerned about the nature of signs and there were some examples of signs that were not appropriate, there will be a staff review and there is a board of appeals, i understand that additional enumeration and change in structure all things would not be an approved. so if we looked at some of those loud chase signs, it would be possible the staff wouldn't allow those in the future even though it might have replaced a washington mutual sign that was similar of the size. >> the proposed sign would not deviate from the character of the sign that it's replacing. it's something we would do and make that determination if we felt the sign violate that we would instruct them to provide a sign that meets the current
code requirement or disapprove the sign requirement and theca y can appeal to the board. >> you see a lot of these signs replaced arbitrarily and looks like they are normal challenged at this point in time w this legislation there will be' tendency for more challenges. >> if someone wants to take advantage af legal non-compliant sign and they have a permit and want to change that to new copy. we have to make the determination to not change the character and if we make that determination they can change the copy. if they want flexibility, they can move that sign and install with the planning code and they are
not stuck with the department with making the change of character. the point about illumination issue. the blue lights are not something that we would regulate as signage. that's just illumination of the property. i will look into the permit history in particular for the 2 signs that are at the corner because currently under the planning codes the signs can't be higher than 24 feet and it looks like they might be higher. i want to make sure we'll look at that one. >> thank you, the quality of the sign has to be the guiding factor whether it's formula retail or independent. if it's a lousy sign it should not be there whether it's from an f c or whether it's from some local company. we have to look at the quality of the sign and make
that the defining factor. >> mr. vettel, could i ask you a question for a moment? you spoke to a particular building but this in general with historic signs you are advocating and i think i agree with this for the replacement of the signs even though the letters might be too large and to just replace the same type of letter, the same font but current owner of the building or the current tenant of the building? >> that is correct. >> that seems clear on that there is no point in identifying it and it's not making it any worse. there are signs around for 75 years. i can think of a lot of buildings particularly south of market that have the old industrial uses that used to be there and
sometimes they leave them as just when they are deemed to be historic even though everybody knows the buildings are something else , but when they are misleading, it's probably better to be be able to replace them. i think i favor this legislation as it's written so far with staff modifications. >> commissioner hills. >> mr. drew, do you see that came up by san francisco beautiful and cities about some type of review whether it's zoning administrator or c urs, and have you looked at that? >> thank you for the question. we've had some preliminary discussion on that issue. it is something we are open to talk about and other interested
parties about. we want to make sure we strike a balance between really considering the scope of the legislation and not creating significant additional work for the department or expense for sponsors when we are talking about something as simple as a copy change. we are hesitant to create more work for the commission as well. it is an interesting idea to make it an exception and that's something we are open to and open to recommendation from the commission to be able to work on that. >> i think i would be in support of that. and not going through the cost of replacing that there is a cost of going through the c u too. that one size fits all may not work.
having the zone or commissioner is one way to go. >> the distinctions the city is able to make for people who want signs, these are not general advertising signs. i think that was obviously very important as well. that's something we can continue to work on but my understanding is that is a bit of a challenge. >> the historic issue, with mr. vettel's where that name has been changed over the years and the copy isn't significant anymore but the architectural element, that's one case, but the copy is significant even though they are not the tenant anymore. we wouldn't want someone to come in and change the copy. the historic aspect needs to be looked at where the copies in historic, we shouldn't allow the copy to be
changed where it's an architectural copy to the changed over the years is something to consider. >> the northeast legislation over the last two years, we'll be happy to sit down with mr. vettel to look at the language how it's raised and see how this legislation is a piece at this point. >> i think especially from the point of view of a small business it's really practical and i thank mr. miguel for the example he gave. i work in chinatown and think about an owner that maybe put together all of their money to buy a business and not even aware that their sign is non-complying. they brought up issue of formula retail and all
the examples of signs. some of those signs may have been conforming, i don't know which were and which weren't. but i think we should maybe focus on changing the sign regulations as opposed to fixings it through this legislation as to size and height of signs that need to be changed in certain neighborhoods where that would be with article 6 and the formula on the retail issue, the controls are getting stronger and trending toward even stronger control. so i think formula retail signs only come if formula retail come. i am supportive of the legislation and of the question of architecturely significant signs and would encourage the supervisors office to figure something out. commissioner moore? >> just hearing commissioner wu
speak i would like to you think about the sign in chinatown which could be down very quickly without additional approval. i would like to you think about a change in sign. >> this is a subject for another day and it goes beyond signs not to make things more complicated but there are many cities throughout our nation that have architectural review and they kind of make the building that are built there conformity architecturely to the areas they are in even some gas stations. we usually have buildings that have been something else in the past that are being changed so this is a little bit more difficult. you see these more in places where these are built new but it helps to make it more acceptable to the eye that they don't stand out as being the
golden arches where you may see. they are a little bit different but that might be something we think about when we look at the sign approval process to see how appropriate the sign is in the context of the neighborhood obviously grandfathering existing signs are fine especially if they are historic in nature and we are only changing the name there where that's appropriate. but signs that are a little garish is something i hope we have the ability to look at that. is this an item for we do not have a motion. >> i move with staff recommendations including i think we already have some recommendations as